One of my assignments sees me having conversations with employees exiting a company. The discussions happen mostly over the phone, and I’ve to admit that barring a couple of cases, till now I’ve enjoyed the experience of being a confidant to unknown and unseen professionals. I’ve also been amazed to see the difference in the emotions they have shared in a quick feedback chat.
Most exude positivity on various policies even while passing along concerns. Conversely, some sound highly depressed, and that makes the conversation heart-wrenching and mentally exhausting. Some years ago, my own experience of exiting a company was stressful for me and devoid of any apparent feedback process, that now I’m glad to see companies viewing the employee exit process as more than just a staff farewell tea and settlement of dues. At some point, I’d like to go over the possible mechanisms to increase employee retention and what it is that matters to people. But this and the next post will simply emphasise the need for viewing the opportunity as a feedback process, and how it can be carried out.
To my mind and in my experience, a planned exit process and interview can become a method to:
- learn about gaps in organizational policies and management style
- understand and diffuse organizational politics hampering employee engagement
- create brand ambassadors by seeking constructive feedback and creating an atmosphere of mutual respect
- get the high potential exited employees back into the company at a later date
- identify training and development needs
- improve upon recruitment and induction processes
- transfer useful knowledge on contacts or experiences to successors
The aspects of opening itself to feedback or incurring some expenditure on the process are not only small prices to pay by an organization for the above, having a planned exit process is also a best practice for managing one’s employees.